A Nigerian bishop has made an urgent appeal to the government to free the group of 110 young girls aged between 11 and 19 years who were kidnapped from their school in his diocese by Boko Haramon 19 February.
"My call is for the government to leave politics aside and bring back these girls: leave politics and protect lives. You do not politicize life..." said Mgr Hilary Nanman Dachelem, Bishop of Bauchi, capital of the State of Yobe in northern Nigeria.
Bishop Dachelem said: "I do not need to know who you are, political affiliation or religious beliefs, but all I know is that life is sacred and must be protected and respected by everybody."
Four years ago, 276 girls were abducted from their school Chibok, in Borno state. At least 195 of these girls are still in the hands of the kidnappers, despite the repeated promises by the government to guarantee their release.
On March 4, Gloria Shoda, president of the National Council for Women's Societies, called on the federal government to do everything in its power to rescue the abducted students in Dapchi to avoid repeating the 2014 Chibok saga, pointing out that the kidnappings are a national disgrace.
"We are pained as mothers to see another group of our children being abducted by the sect. It is most unfortunate that it is happening again after the Chibok experience" said Shoda.
On March 8, International Women's Day, the parents of some of the girls kidnapped in Dapchi demonstrated on the streets of the federal capital Abuja to remind the government and the world of their daughters. Dressed in black, after a drive of 833 kilometers to reach the capital, the parents gathered in front of the main entrance of the Nigerian Parliament.
"I ask the government to give us hope to see my daughter again", said a tearful mother, "I sent my daughter to school because I wanted her to make progress in life. As a mother, how can I live without knowing what has happened to my daughter?" shouted another mother.
In Dapchi, local authorities have asked 300 religious to pray for the release of the female students every day.
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